So while Mediterranean outfits are reporting Xavi, the Red Bulls and Barcelona are in talks and American sources are downplaying that news, enter the English press with their own take on the Xavi situation: He's going to NYCFC.
According to the Telegraph, Manchester City are taking a long look at the 33-year-old midfielder and are considering making him one of their big signings ahead of their 2015 MLS debut.
If reports out of Spain and Italy are to be believed, Theirry Henry approached Xavi, who is seriously considering leaving Barcelona and ending his career elsewhere, to praise the organization. Henry and Xavi were, reportedly, close during their time as teammates. Add to that the Red Bulls rapport with Barca -- they brought Henry and Rafael Marquez over from the side in 2010 -- and you'd think the Red Bulls would have the inside track.
But the Manchester City group might be able to one-up the Red Bulls in that regard. The Telegraph notes City director of football Txiki Begiristain and chief executive Ferran Soriano both have worked with Xavi before while at Barcelona.
Losing out on Xavi isn't really that big a deal, really. The chances of the Red Bulls landing one of the best midfielders in the history of the game was always something of a pie-in-the-sky proposition, but the news that the Red Bulls could lose out to NYCFC? That takes the news from aw-shucks disappointing to infuriating. It's bad enough to lose out on a great player because the circumstances aren't right. It's even worse to lose out on him to a team that doesn't exist yet and is essentially a slap in the face to your existence.
But if there's one good note to this whole thing -- well, one that ensures maybe Xavi won't play for either New York team in a sort of mutually assured destruction kind of way -- is this report from Brian Lewis at the New York Post, in which he cites a Spanish source that calls the whole rumor a "hypothetical discussion" and says Xavi wants to see out his contract, which ends in 2016, when he's 35. By that point, NYCFC would likely have filled all of their designated player slots and the Red Bulls might still be in play, but could elect to pass on a player halfway to 40.